Welcome to the vale...

Moelbryn is the ancient celtic name for the Malvern Hills, a dramatic ridge of volcanic rock that spans the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire and dominates the surrounding countryside. Towards the south of the Malverns lies the Eastnor Vale, a picturesque valley amongst the woods and ridges of which lies the village of Eastnor.

This weblog focuses on the stories, folklore and history of the area - the hills, buildings, woods and ruins, tales of faerie folk, witches, druids and giants.

Please leave a comment if you have found this blog useful or have enjoyed reading.

Peace x

Thursday, September 08, 2005


The Malvern Hills, known to the Celts as Moel-Bryn and to some folk as the 'English Alps', form a dramatic ridge running from north to south and spanning the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Throughout history they have provided a home to pre-Aryan man and later the Celts and Druids, and down the centuries have inspired writers, musicians and scientists alike.

Many of Edward Elgars compositions were inspired by the hills beauty and sensational views. William Langland, the medieval poet, was probably born on the western slopes and drew inspiration from the hill top views to write his epic poem, Piers the Plowman. By the mid-nineteenth century many well known men and women were drawn to the Malverns by the Water Cure, including Charles Darwin, Charles Dickins and Florence Nightingale. The famous nineteenth century soprano Jenny Lind known as the 'Swedish Nightingale retired to Wynd's Point near the Herefordshire Beacon.

The lush countryside that surrounds them is rich and varied. To the north and south the narrow ridge is seen as a series of rugged peaks, yet to the east the hills fall rapidly to the Severn plain which stretches away in gentle undulations towards the heart of England. The view to the west however is quite different. Rolling hills and ridges with varied woodlands and forests separated by small fertile valleys stretch out into the distance where the Black Mountains of south Wales can be seen upon the horizon. At the south west tail of the Malvern Hills nestles the vale of Eastnor a picturesque estate which boasts many points of interest and history.

In this Weblog I intend to share the local knowledge that I have and research further into the history and tales of this green and pleasant land tucked quietly away in the corner of the West Midlands. From the geology and geography of the hills, the structures, ruins and earthworks that can be seen, to the many tales and superstitions of giants, faerie folk, witches, and Druids. Whatever knowledge I can impart I shall put here for all to see.

I hope that the information I present here will be of interest to people near and far.

Southern tail of the Malverns seen from the Edge of the Frith Wood, Ledbury


MartinDiMaggio said...

thank you so much for this wealth of information! I grew up in Malvern and left (by force of parents) when I was 12, ever since i have felt a strong pull back there and a sense of peace whenever I visit (which is twice a month) from Birmingham. The Malverns seem to have such a strong sense of genius locii (spirit of place) that places like Birmingham distinctly lack. I hope to move back soon and would love to meet up with you my fellow Malvernian!

p.s have you heard the phrase "as long as you live on the malvern hills you'll live as long as you wills"?

sproatly smith said...

you may be interested in a song i wrote about the white leafed oak.
please check out www.myspace.com/sproatlysmith